Letters to the Editor

Happy Lummi Nation protests coal terminal

I celebrate the Lummi Nation’s request to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stop permitting for the Gateway Pacific Terminal. The recent traffic study clearly shows that 487 ships per year —the largest ships in the world — would have impacts on and risks to the Lummi Nation’s fishing that cannot be mitigated. These rights, established by treaty in 1855, have been upheld in recent court decisions. The Corps has a responsibility to respect the treaty.

I believe those who claim that GPT can be environmentally responsible are apparently oblivious to the fundamentals of their own project. Simple math shows that 48 million tons of coal (the amount to be shipped annually) would bury downtown Seattle in pile taller than the Columbia tower. When burned, it would produce 100 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, more than all human activity in all of Washington State. This would completely undo all other efforts to curb pollution. I believe it would also pull 5.3 million gallons of fresh water per day from the Nooksack River to keep the coal wet, putting our local farmers and salmon fisherman in competition with China for our own water. A single accident could be catastrophic to the resident orca, of which there are now only 78 remaining.

The Lummi people have been living and fishing here for thousands of years. We have a fundamental responsibility to uphold their treaty rights.

Gregory Wolgamot